Elves, Cameos, and Companies – Geekout 2

On today’s Geekout challenge from my page-a-day calendar, I’m supposed to list: Two Middle-earth Elves, Two Celebrities [who] have Made Cameo appearances on The Big Bang Theory, and Four Video Game Companies.

2017-01-02 Geekout

Looks like those icons must indicate the category, I’d guess it’s fantasy, general geekiness, and games.

Two Middle-earth Elves

I’d say the toughest part for this one is choosing from which of Tolkien’s texts I should make my selections. I’ll admit that I’ve never finished the Silmarillion, but I’ve read half the book more than once. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, however, each have more than enough elves to choose from.

Elrond

Appearing in The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Ring, and The Return of the King, this elf stays important throughout the series, unlike some who make appearances in only The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit. Additionally, he always seems somewhat mystical, and is relatively nice to the characters we’re following.

Thranduil

The more reclusive and less-trusting elf, Thranduil and his elf brethren create an interesting challenge for Bilbo and his Dwarven allies, imprisoning the dwarves until their barrel-riding ally manages to plan their escape. While I’m not too happy with his portrayal in the recent movie adaptation, I like the character, since he offers such a different view of the Elves than we received earlier in the book while meeting Elrond. Not all elves share the same opinions it would seem!

Two Celebrities with Cameos on The Big Bang Theory

Now here’s finally a tough question for me. I’m not much of a fan of The Big Bang Theory. While it’s got some good geeky humor, the show seems to ridicule nerds and geeks, casting us often in a poor light. There are funny points, and jokes that are certainly for us exclusively! Maybe it’s just me though!

Wil Wheaton

As a child actor, I was not a fan, however, I’ve come around to Wil Wheaton following his roles on Leverage and The Guild. I do know that he was on an episode of The Big Bang Theory. I didn’t watch the episode, but I heard something about the cast and him. For some reason I’m remembering something about bowling. Maybe I’m way off on this one.

Brent Spiner

I heard about this as well, so I hope I’m right here. I remember something about it, since it made for a double Star Trek cameo. I recall something about a birthday. Either way, Data is an awesome character with really interesting development in The Next Generation, and Brent Spiner really played him well. Since Star Trek, I’d have to say my favorite of his characters was in Independence Day. So many people didn’t even notice it was him!

Four Video Game Companies

Now this is a laughably small number of game companies to name. I’m guessing someone thought four would be a large number, since most of the questions so far have asked for two.

Square Enix

As a fan of many classic RPG franchises, including Chrono Trigger/Cross, the Final Fantasy series,  and the Star Ocean series, it would be difficult to exclude the creators of those games who now comprise Square Enix.

Their current direction is somewhat questionable at times, however, I am hopeful that the FF7 remake will not be the disappointment many predict. In addition, I’ve appreciated some of the games they’ve published, including Life is Strange.

Blizzard Entertainment

Talk about a company that really got in a decades long groove. Warcraft was a good game, and I remember IPX connection games of Warcraft II so long ago! Everything changed with Diablo, Starcraft, and Battle.net! Talk about an acquisition, Blizzard North bringing along Diablo set the stage for this company’s triumph in online gaming. Never again was there a need to try and get LAN games going with friends. Online gaming was now easy.

This company is never the first in their genre, but when they show up, they take over. Their development efforts seem to stretch on forever, but if they let a game reach release, it’s impressive. These days I think Heroes of the Storm is the closest they have to a non-success, but only because it’s not the top MOBA.

Quantic Dream

A company close to my heart, Quantic Dream does not disappoint. No, not even with Beyond: Two Souls. The creators of Heavy Rain and Indigo Prophecy, two of my favorite games. Interestingly, Indigo Prophecy was originally called Fahrenheit outside the US, a crazy thing, since we’re nearly the only country using that system.

The games this studio creates aren’t for everyone; story-focused games are their expertise. As a player, you’re guiding a movie more than anything else. There are skill-based challenges and story-impacting decisions to make which determine how the story will end. I’ve watched the endings of their games more times than I’d like to admit, and I’ve played through each game quite a few times as well.

BioWare

At this point, you may have noticed my story-driven, role-playing game focus. I must include the creators of the Baldur’s Gate series of games. Yes, I cite them for that, since that’s where I first experienced their games. Those games used D&D rules, so that was quite fun for me!

Using similar rules to D&D, their Star Wars game, Knights of the Old Republic, was (and still is) one of my favorite games. If you’ve not played it, I recommend giving it a try sooner rather than later. It’s not a new game, so the controls are starting to show their age. The story and adventure are quite fun though! They were not the creators of Knights of the Old Republic II, however, they came back to the series with The Old Republic, their MMO that I do still play!

Now, before anyone tries to have me strung up, yes, I played and loved Mass Effect and Dragon Age! They’re great games that show that BioWare can take those same skills and transition from D&D and Star Wars to their own worlds with Dragon Age and Mass Effect respectively.

Wrap Up

It seems I’ve managed two of these posts in a row. That won’t last, however, I’m hoping that The Big Bang Theory questions doesn’t become a trend – I’ll exhaust that expertise quickly!

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About Brendan
Nerdin' it up!

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